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January 30, 2005

Another district court weighs in on Booker

Like Judge Pratt's potent Myers opinion which took a few days to appear on-line, only just today have I seen the thoughtful discussion of Booker by US District Judge Robert Sweet in US v. West, 2005 WL 180930 (S.D.N.Y. Jan 27, 2005).  In West, Judge Sweet begins with this account of the somewhat divergent district court approaches to Booker:

Certain district courts imposing sentences in the wake of Booker have concluded that the Guidelines should remain the dominant or even determinative factor in sentencing analysis. [Citing Barkley and Wilson.]  Under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), however, the sentencing court is required to consider a host of individual variables and characteristics excluded from those calculations called for by the Guidelines. [Citing Ranum and Jones.]

Interestingly, in West, after a thorough review of the applicable guideline calculations and a distinct review of the factors of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), Judge Sweet ultimately imposes a sentence of 60 months' imprisonment in a wire fraud case, which falls within the calculated 57-71 month (advisory) guideline range.  (Also of interest, in a footnote Judge Sweet suggests Blakely/Booker precludes him from setting an order of restitution greater than the amount admitted by West in his guilty plea.)

January 30, 2005 at 10:00 PM | Permalink


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Hello. I am a defendant keeping very close tabs on the law. I am interested seeing where Judge Sweet "suggests Blakely/Booker precludes him from setting an order of restitution greater than the amount admitted by West in his guilty plea."

I do not see where you get this; can you tell me what page it is on and give me a quote?

What are your thoughts on how this would apply if there is the defendant does not admit to any loss figure and the defendant pleads guilty with only a Pimentel letter. Would the loss amount in the Pimentel letter have any have any bearing on restitution?


Here is the decision I was reading: http://www.iasd.uscourts.gov/iasd/opinions.nsf/49bb3d458bfdfed386256863007bc595/b92471ad58f236cf86256f95007460cc/$FILE/Myers%201-26-05.pdf

Posted by: jason | Jan 31, 2005 5:12:43 PM

I see my mistake, I was reading the wrong decision. Does anyone have a link to the west decision? Also, plese provide feedback on the other questions I left if you can.


Posted by: jason | Jan 31, 2005 5:21:57 PM

My first visit to your blog. I've been a lawyer for 29 years but haven't done a lot of Federal criminal work. That has been on purpose because I have found the guidelines and their application to be draconian and depressing. I've seen some very tragic results in my limited contact with the guidelines. I love my country but i wonder what we are doing to ourselves with the guidelines.

Wayne Green

Posted by: Wayne Green | Aug 29, 2007 6:20:19 PM

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